The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Amazon will be offering full refunds for any hoverboard purchased through its site in the United States or Canada, no matter when you bought it. Just visit amazon.com/returns or amazon.com/contact-us to start the process. While they will not stop selling hoverboards anytime soon, they obviously want you to feel safe about your purchase.
The popular holiday gifts gained a degree of infamy, as several have caught fire, leading to property damage and even the deaths of pets.
The fires are sparked by the rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which are usually housed under one of the footrests. Most of the blame for the fires has been put on shoddy craftsmanship and components, but Li-ion batteries are not the most stable, and similar mishaps have occurred with smartphones, laptops, and even luxury electric cars.
These accidents seem to be happening more frequently with hoverboards, though. CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye even went so far as to recommend that you carry a fire extinguisher with you while you hoverboard. On the bright side, if your hoverboard doesn't burst into flames, you can use the fire extinguisher to give you a burst of speed (please don't actually do this).
Kaye expects other retailers to offer similar refunds for hoverboards, and also stressed that while some components of hoverboards are certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), hoverboards themselves are not UL-certified. In fact, any hoverboard with a UL sticker "is at best misleading and may even be a sign of a counterfeit product," according to Kaye.